Israel refuses to restore electricity or allow water and fuel into the Gaza Strip until all its hostages are released – as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that any terrorists will be soon “a dead man”.
Wednesday’s tough stance comes as the Israeli military is expected to launch a ground strike in the region in the coming days in response to the horrific weekend terrorist attack that killed more than 1,200 people, most of them civilians. .
“Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No power switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no tanker trucks will enter until those kidnapped by Israel are returned home,” tweeted the Israeli Minister of Energy and Security. Infrastructure, Israel Katz, early Thursday.
By Thursday, Hamas had captured around 150 people – including women and children – while threatening to release footage of their execution.
“Humanitarian for humanitarian,” Katz tweeted in Hebrew, according to the Austin-American Statesman.
“And no one will preach morality to us.”
Netanyahu, meanwhile, joined a top political rival on Wednesday to create a war cabinet to oversee the fight – pledging to “crush and destroy” the terrorist organization behind the massacre.
“Every member of Hamas is a dead man,” he promised in a televised speech.
Opposition leader Benny Gantz said he was “united” with his rival and ready to “wipe this thing called Hamas off the face of the Earth.”
The refusal of aid comes as the United Nations pressures Israel to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza, after the government cut off food, fuel and water supplies to the region in retaliation for the terrorist attack.
The situation worsened in Gaza on Wednesday, when the only power station serving the region ran out of fuel, forcing hospitals to rely on generators that they fear could last only a few more days.
More than 2 million people in the Gaza Strip are now without electricity, the head of Gaza’s electricity authority told CNN, leaving officials in the region unsure of how they will be able to care for of their residents.
Israel has mobilized 360,000 reservists, massed additional forces near Gaza and evacuated tens of thousands of residents from neighboring communities.
With post wires